Coben was born on the 4th of January, 1962, in Newark, New Jersey. Harlan was born into and grew up in a Jewish family. Coben was educated in the Livingston High School of New Jersey. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Amherst College.
It was at Amherst College that he also met author, Dan Brown, though Dan hadn’t yet published the books that would mark his career, while they were both part of a fraternity named Psi Upsilon. Coben took up writing during his college years.
After graduating, he went to work in a traveling agency that was owned by his own grandfather. Most primarily, Coben is known for his mystery and thriller books, and he is a familiar name when speaking about the contemporary fiction of America.
The last consecutive seven Coben novels ranked at the number one spot on the New York Times bestsellers list. Coben today lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey, with his wife and their four children. When we consider how many books Harlan Coben has written, it is a tough call to pick the best five. We changed the final list only a couple of times. Let’s now take a look at what the best Harlan Coben books are.
Best Harlan Coben Books
|Tell No One||9.92/10||377 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Fool Me Once||9.86/10||387 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Myron Bolitar Series||9.78/10||11 Books||Check Price On Amazon|
|The Woods||9.74/10||404 Pages||Check Price On Amazon|
|Wilde Series||9.66/10||2 Books||Check Price On Amazon|
Tell No One
Tell No One was published in 2001 and it was Coben’s first book to reach the New York Times bestseller list. Our main character in this tale of mystery is Doctor David Beck.
He is a Manhattan pediatrician. David’s wife, and childhood sweetheart, Elizabeth was kidnapped eight years ago. She was tortured violently and murdered by a man referring to himself as KillRoy. KillRoy is in prison, doing life on 14 different counts of murder. It is one of Harlan Coben’s top books and the answer to the question of what is the best Coben book to start with.
As it happens, the case is once more opened when near the site where Elizabeth’s body was recovered, the police discover two corpses and a baseball bat. It is this same baseball bat that had been used against Elizabeth so as to kidnap her.
Things only take a turn for the twisty worse when David receives an e-mail from a person looking exactly like his slain wife. David can’t understand all the implications arising from this: has Elizabeth been alive for the better part of a decade? why is she coming back now? whose body was falsely identified as hers and buried? One of our favorite Coben novels.
Off the Hook
This is one thriller that won’t let you off the hook once you’ve read it. You’ll be pondering how things went down long after it’s placed back on your bookshelf. It isn’t without reason that Tell No One is considered Coben’s best book from the whole list of Coben’s novels.
Fool Me Once
Coben’s Fool Me Once is one of Harlan Coben’s best books and one of a kind examples of how a thriller, even after the author has been writing for decades, is properly done. We see Maya Burkett, recently widowed as her husband was shot and murdered in Central Park by a pair of muggers, as she installs a hidden camera to keep a keen eye on her two-year-old daughter Lily and her nanny.
Maya’s world is flipped upside down when, while examining the footage, she sees her husband from out the grave sitting in her den. Isabella, the nanny, denies seeing anything and high-tails it out of Maya’s home, taking the memory card from the concealed camera. It is one of the best Harlan Coben novels.
Distrustful of homicide detective Roger Kierce, Maya decides to do a little bit of investigation on her own. She finds that Kierce isn’t quite as innocent as he may let one. With time, Maya finds that there are many more things being played in the background than she first supposed.
Her investigation links the murder of her husband with the murder of her sister Claire, as Kierce reveals that they were shot using the same weapon. Even more distressing is that Joe’s own brother Andrew was murdered over ten years ago, and now secrets that were to be kept under wraps are being revealed, one by one. As any Coben thriller is, Fool Me Once is a tale of intrigue that has its readers on the edge of their seats. One of the best books by Coben of the latter part of his career.
Myron Bolitar Series
Myron Bolitar is one of the two best Coben book series and it is also the longest one. It features eleven novels, each with its own riddles and twists, setting up an entertaining, interesting, murderous story.
Myron, the titular character, is a large, handsome man, currently working as a sports agent, though at one point he did work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Trouble Will Find Me
Over the course of the books, Myron tracks down the girlfriend of a friend he used to be close with; protects one of his clients while attempting to avenge the life of another; finds himself in the middle of one of the most powerful families in the cities and all their secrets; finds out that he is the father of a thirteen-year-old child, stricken by cancer.
He must have a race against the clock to find the missing bone marrow donor; faces the death of his own father; goes deep into decades-old secrets that might just cost him his own life.
One of a Kind
The books featuring Myron are one of a kind. Even though the first one came out in 1995, and Coben’s latest book of the series in 2016, the stories don’t lose footing for even a bit. Myron remains as the witty, powerful, and charismatic character we meet in Deal Breaker, and blossoms even further towards being as complete a character as possible, all the way to Home.
The books featuring Myron Bolitar are, without a shadow of a doubt, the most popular Harlan Coben novels. Coben is one of the best authors, today – and even during the last twenty years –, in the thriller genre. His books have been entertaining and absorbing, musing, and perplexing readers since his first, and he is showing no sign of slowing down.
The Woods is one of Harlan Coben’s best-selling books published in 2007, garnering generally positive reviews. The story starts out with the recounting of a series of murders that occurred at a summer camp. Paul Copeland is a New Jersey prosecutor, whose teenaged sister and her three friends were slain in that same camp.
Paul learns that one of the victims, or more than just one, might have just gotten away. Paul has lost a lot in his life. His wonderful wife was taken by cancer, his mother went away a number of years ago, his father died in search of Camille, Paul’s sister. When we take a look at the list of books written by Coben, it is one of the best-rated Coben novels for sure.
A few months after the death of Paul’s dad, the case is reopened as a new corpse has just been found. Paul is one-hundred per cent sure that the body is Gil Perez, who was thought to have died in the woods twenty years ago.
Paul struggles with keeping his sanity; his other cases take a hit as he is unable to keep his head clear. With each page, the story is revealed, bit by bit, and we learn of the dark, dark past. It should be noted that one critique that Coben has received for this particular novel is that Paul never actually seems as if he’s in any trouble, though this is a minor issue.
The penchant that Coben has for twisting the stories is as present here as in all wonderful, murderous thriller that he releases. Not many would number this among author Harlan Coben’s book list, but it still succeeds in what it sets out to do.
Into The Woods
This two-part series from Harlan Coben is some of his best work, starting with ‘The boy from the Woods’ and following the story of a boy named Wilde who was found living in the woods thirty years ago. He was feral, with no memory of his past. As an adult, Wilde still has no idea where he came from and now another child, Naomi Pine, has gone missing.
It seems like no one is taking Naomi’s disappearance seriously, not even her father. The only person who seems to care is Hester Crimstein, a television personality and criminal attorney, who discovers that Naomi was severely bullied at school. Hester decides to ask Wilde to put his unique skills – formed during his years in the woods – to use and help her to find Naomi.
The second book is called ‘The Match’ and follows on from the previous Harlan Coben book, so make sure you read them in order. Now anywhere between the ages of 35-45 (he cannot be sure), Wilde still knows nothing about his family, let alone his own identity. But now he has a 100% match on a DNA website – with his father.
We see Wilde continue on the search for his family, getting caught up in the online world and trying to weed through the truth and the lies. These books are fast-paced and filled with action, and I couldn’t put them down! They have murder, intrigue and mayhem, everything you can possibility want from a thriller.
I Will Find You
An Innocent Man?
This Harlan Coben book is his latest release, and when I tell you I ran to the bookstore to get it, I am not exaggerating. I love mystery thrillers and I just knew that Coben’s new one was going to knock my socks off – and it did! The story follows David and Cheryl Burroughs, who were living the dream until tragedy struck.
It is five years later; Cheryl is remarried, and David is serving a life sentence in prison for brutally murdering their son. But did he do it? David has always maintained his innocence, and now he has just received a piece of evidence that may just prove that his son is still alive. He is determined to break out of prison and find out the truth.
Cheryl’s sister, Rachel, turns up unexpectedly at the prison, with the piece of evidence that leads David to believe his child isn’t dead. It is a photo with a boy in the background. The boy has a distinct birthmark, and Rachel and Daniel almost don’t want to believe it, but they both know in their guts that Daniel’s son is still alive.
And so begins Daniel’s plan to escape from prison, find his son, and clear his name. But the truth of what happened that night is one that will be devastating. This whole book is a wild ride, a game of cat-and-mouse that you won’t be able to put down. It’s definitely one that would make for a super exciting series – Netflix, get on it!
Mickey Bolitar Series
Young Adult Fiction
While the Myron Bolitar books are probably the ones that author Harlan is most known for, his attempts at teen fiction with the Mickey Bolitar books are also superb stories. The story is comprised of three Coben books in order as follows:
Shelter is the first and maybe even the best Harlan Coben novel of the series, where we are introduced to Mickey Bolitar, who is the nephew of Myron Bolitar. Mickey’s life takes a turn when he witnesses the death of his father, then even more when he is forced to send his mother into having no other recourse, Mickey goes to live with uncle Myron.
He switches school, losing most of his friends, but he soon finds new ones at the present school. However, his girlfriend Ashley has vanished without a trace. Determined to find her, Mickey sets off in his attempt not to lose another person in his life.
Seconds Away is the second novel of Coben’s books in chronological order, where Mickey and his group of close friends are at the heart of yet another murder mystery. Coben does a brilliant job of keeping the readers out of the loop while, at the same time, setting up an intriguing plot. The characters are strong and enduring, and the plot can be rested upon their backs properly.
Found, is the third and, as of this moment, the final book in Coben’s book series in order. It comes back to the mysteries surrounding Mickey’s own family, his parents, and it ends wonderfully. The opening page grips you from the start and doesn’t really let go even after you’ve closed the book. These Coben’s books ranked as Harlan Coben best-sellers, so we assure you they are worth your reading time.
This new book from Harlan Coben is a thrilling story that is the first in a new series. Heiress Patricia Lockwood was abducted over twenty years ago from her family’s estate. She was locked in an isolated cabin for months. Somehow, Patricia managed to escape the cabin, but her captors also got away, and the items they stole from the family were never found.
Now, a recluse has been found murdered in his penthouse. And what is discovered alongside his body? A stolen Vermeer painting and a leather suitcase, two objects of note, as they were part of the items stolen from Patricia’s family all those years ago. The police finally have a lead on the kidnapping.
It turns out that this new lead will not only shed some light on what happened to Patricia, but it is also connected to a cold FBI case, and both of the objects point to one man. Windsor Horne Lockwood III (aka “Win”) has no idea how his family’s property ended up with a dead man, but his interest is piqued. And Win has three things to FBI doesn’t.
He has a personal connection to the case, an endless amount of money, and his own brand of justice. He may be just the person to solve these two cases that have baffled the FBI for decades. Win is one of those characters that you’ll find is morally gray, but you will love him anyway. There’s action, romance and mystery, and I could not recommend this book enough! It is the beginning of what I am sure is going to be an epic series.
Have you heard about the Stranger? He is the person that seems to appear out of thin air, in parking lots, in bars, or even at the grocery store. No one knows who he is or what his motives are. The one thing that everyone knows for certain is that his information is undeniable.
He simply whispers a few words in your ear and disappears – leaving you to pick up the pieces of your now shattered world. And this is what happens to Adam Price, a man with a lot to lose. He has a comfortable marriage to a lovely woman, two amazing sons and everything you could imagine of the American Dream: a good job, a big house and what seems to be the perfect life.
Web Of Deception
The Stranger appears to Adam out of nowhere and shares a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne. When Adam confronts her, the illusion of a perfect life immediately vanishes as if it never existed. Adam finds himself stuck in a web of something darker than Corinne’s deception and he starts to realize that if he doesn’t tread carefully, lives will not only be ruined – they will end.
The reviews for this Harlan Coben book speak for themselves – it is a fantastic mystery thriller! I loved the concept of this Stranger that appears in the night and wreaks havoc, because it is so different from your traditional mystery novel. There is also a Netflix series based on the book, so definitely give that a watch after you’ve read it!
It’s been six years since Jake Fisher watched the love of his life, Natalie, marry someone else. He’s spent six years hiding his broken heart, throwing himself into his job as a college professor and keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone. It’s been six years of torture, dreaming of Natalie with her husband, Todd.
Even after all this time, Jake’s feelings for Natalie are as strong as ever. When he stumbles upon Todd’s obituary, he cannot help but go to the funeral. But Jake finds his world turned upside down, because the woman who is mourning her husband is not Natalie; it is Todd’s wife of two decades. Everything Jake knows about the best time of his life has been shattered.
Built On Lies
In his shock and confusion, Jake searches for the truth, finding that his memories of Natalie are beginning to unravel. The mutual friends they had either cannot be found or don’t remember Jake at all. Natalie hasn’t been seen in years. In his search for the woman who broke his heart, Jake may just discover that the man he has become has been built on a lie.
Truth be told, I had absolutely no clue what to expect about where this book was going, but that’s what Harlan Coben does best: he keeps you guessing. I spent the whole time trying to figure things out the same way the main character was, and it was a roller coaster! You’ll have a hard time putting this one down.
Robert is a science fiction and fantasy geek. (He is also the best looking Ereads writer!) Besides reading and writing, he enjoys sports, cosplay, and good food (don't we all?). Currently works as an accountant (would you believe that?)